The National Democratic Institute for International Affairs is looking for a partner organization from Hong Kong or mainland China to help implement their Young Leaders for Women’s Empowerment program. In the program, early to mid-career level participants will have the opportunity to pitch a project design, develop the project at group workshops, and then implement it in their home communities.


Attached is the official request for proposals for the Young Leaders for Women’s Empowerment program. NDI is seeking applications that share the values of gender equality, equal representation and voice in government, and are interested in bridging Hong Kong and the mainland.


If you or your organization is interested in implementing the program and working collaboratively with NDI on program design, see the link for more information. Proposals are due via email by 31 March 2014.



English: https://www.ndi.org/node/16472

Chinese: http://www.ndi.org/files/NDI_TC_PDF.pdf

[REPORT] “Custody and Education”: Arbitrary Detention for Female Sex Workers in China (2013)

China: End Arbitrary Detention Against Sex Workers

(Beijing, December 10, 2013) The Chinese government is arbitrarily detaining sex workers through a flawed government policy purportedly aimed at education and rehabilitation, Asia Catalyst said in a new report released today. The report,“Custody and Education”: Arbitrary Detention for Female Sex Workers in China documents excessive use of force by police in the detention of female sex workers, as well as the women’s subsequent incarceration in the little-known “Custody and Education (C&E)” system.

Asia Catalyst research found that under the C&E system, sex workers and clients are deprived of their freedom for long periods of time with no genuine right to challenge the decision or external safeguards. Public security organs have full control over the decision, execution and supervision of C&E, which authorizes officials to detain sex workers and their clients for a period of six months to two years, without  trial or judicial oversight.

“Sex workers face widespread discrimination and stigma which has enabled this arbitrary detention with little public outcry or a genuine means for redress,” said Charmain Mohamed, Executive Director of Asia Catalyst. “C&E is a punitive measure that does little to improve the education or health of these women.”

Asia Catalyst and two partner organizations interviewed 30 female sex workers and one law enforcement officer in Northern China from December 2012 to July 2013. Interviewees reported experiencing physical violence at the hands of police, including use of force to extract confessions. Police officers also extorted large amounts of money in exchange for the release of detained women, imposing a heavy economic burden on sex workers and their families.

Yi, a sex worker who was put into a C&E center for serving a client told Asia Catalyst: “I think it’s all for money. Any talk of remolding or ideological education is bogus. It’s just a way of extorting money in the name of the government and the law enforcement organs.”

Asia Catalyst also found that detainees inside the Custody and Education centers had to pay for their stay, including for health treatment and services, at costs much higher than outside. Women were subjected to compulsory STD testing, without being informed of the results or access to adequate counseling. There were few opportunities for education, with detainees forced to conduct long-hours of manual labor without compensation.

“Internationally, there is no evidence that facilities such as C&E centers are conducive to the health or medical treatment of detainees, nor do they provide effective care or protection,” said Mohamed. “In fact, the international community has reached a consensus that decriminalization of sex work, with access to rights-based and community-based services is the way to go.”

The Chinese government announced last month it would abolish the Re-education Through Labour (RTL) system but is allowing the similar “Custody and Education” centers for female sex workers and clients to continue to operate.

“The abolishment of RTL shows the government’s commitment to protect human rights and its ability to do so,” said Mohamed. “They should further demonstrate this commitment  by closing down the C&E centers immediately.”

The report is available in English and Chinese.

Selected testimonies from ‘Custody and Education’: Arbitrary Detention for Female Sex Workers in China“:

The names and identifying details of all interviewees have been withheld to protect their safety. All names of sex workers used in the report are pseudonyms.

“You have to pay for everything inside, and things cost triple what they do outside. You have to be rich to be in prison; otherwise you can’t afford to be there. Your family has to come up with the money. I spent more than 10,000 yuan (US $1639) in half a year.”

– Xiao Lan, December 26 ,2012

“The center I was in took on all kinds of jobs: wrapping disposable chopsticks, peeling garlic for dumpling shops, cutting rubber strips to mend tires… What kind of custody and education is this? It’s nothing but forced labor.

– Yi, January 15,2013

“When the police came in they pulled off the client’s pants and saw he was still wearing a condom. The police tore my clothes to expose my breasts and then photographed me with the client.”

–  Lingling, March 16, 2013

“Several [police]men ganged up on beating me. Some hit my head, some my body, and some pulled my hair. One yelled, “Fuck you, you shameless thing!” They beat me for at least ten minutes.”

– Hong, April 20,2013

For further information, please contact:

In New York: Charmain Mohamed, Asia Catalyst Executive Director cmohamed@asiacatalyst.org +1 646 595 6442 (English)

In Beijing: Tingting Shen, Asia Catalyst Advocacy Director tshen@asiacatalyst.org +86 152 101 02437 (English and Chinese)

[FUNDING OPPORTUNITY] New Zealand Head of Mission Fund

(Crossposted from China Head of Mission Fund)
China Head of Mission Fund Deadline
The Head of Mission Fund (HOMF) for China is a small discretionary grant scheme managed by the New Zealand Embassy in Beijing.  The HOMF is a component of the New Zealand Aid Programme, the New Zealand Government’s international aid and development programme managed by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT).
Applications for the next round of China Head of Mission Fund should be send to the New Zealand Embassy, Beijing before Friday 6 December 2013.
Guidelines and Application Form are available on the website below.
Please note that applications may be completed in either Chinese or English. For more information please visit our website here for English or here for Chinese language.

[REPORT] UNAIDS Releases 2013 Guidance Note on Overly Broad Criminalization of HIV Non-Disclosure, Exposure, and Transmission


On May 28th, the Joint United Nations Programme on HIV/AIDS (UNAIDS) released their updated guidance titled Ending overly broad criminalization of HIV non-disclosure, exposure and transmission: Critical scientific, medical and legal considerations. The paper is a follow-up to their 2008 policy brief and details the results of two years of research, evidence-building, and policy dialogue. Key principles and considerations were outlined on the HIV Justice Network website upon release of the guidance. The paper advocates for ending overly broad HIV criminalization by ensuring that legal and judicial fairness are upheld, protecting the human rights of PLWHA involved in criminal cases, and expanding implementation of public health objectives over criminal prosecution wherever possible, using the best available scientific and medical evidence.

Click here for a PDF of the full report.


Call for Applications for Development Project Fund (DPF) Updated Guidelines



Click this text and follow the link to find the revised New Zealand Development Project Fund (DPF) guidelines and application forms in Chinese and English for the 2013/2014 round. We would welcome an application from your organisation. The deadline for application to be received is Friday 23 August 2013.

We would like to advise that this year the target western provinces and regions are still Guizhou, Yunnan, Gansu, Xinjiang, Guangxi, Sichuan, Tibet, Qinghai and Ningxia.

The total allocation for the Development Project Fund this financial year is NZD 500,000 (approximately RMB 2,500,000). The maximum grant for each project will remain at NZD 100,000 (approximately RMB 500,000), but we strongly encourage applications for smaller amounts.

Applications can be completed in either Chinese or English.

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact me.